Wind is doing much better than people think!

Theo de Lange, unit manager Wind Energy

How is the wind energy sector doing at the moment, now that the Dutch cabinet has indicated that offshore wind energy is too expensive and that new offshore wind farms will not be built for a while?  Actually, much better than some people think. Some achievements.

  • Preparations for the construction of two wind farms of 300 MW each, about 55 kilometres north of the isle of Schiermonnikoog, are in full swing. Late August, it was announced that the German project developer Bard had withdrawn itself from the project. The shares are currently in the hands of two Dutch parties: Typhoon Capital and HVC.
  • The Dutch government is giving high priority to R&D for offshore wind with the aim of lowering the cost price. With financial support of the government, an R&D programme can be carried out that has a large budget of 46 million euro. A large-scale meteorological measuring programme is currently conducted in the North Sea.
  • Businesses are busy with new offshore wind turbines: the 5 MW offshore wind turbine of XEMC Darwind at the ECN test site officially entered into operation early September. 2B-Energy is also very busy and will soon build a prototype.
  • The Dutch offshore industry is doing well, both in the Netherlands and abroad. Recently, Ballast Nedam announced that they had acquired an assignment for the design, supply and installation of 80 foundations, worth 250 million euro, for the German offshore wind farm Butendiek.
  • The expansion plans of the test facility for Wind turbine Materials and Construction (WMC) and the ECN test site are developing steadily.
  • Last but not least: ECN is doing pioneering work on promising new technology. Inquire about our new software that can calculate the maintenance costs of offshore wind farms.  Stay informed of our latest software and services in the field of aerodynamic farm design and our activities in the field of wind turbine control and floating offshore. And don’t forget our offshore measurements...

All in all, Dutch companies and knowledge institutes have excellent opportunities in the field of offshore wind energy, both in the Netherlands and abroad. Moreover, I am convinced that the discussion on new offshore wind farms in the Netherlands (the so-called third round of permit issuance) will soon flare up. Why? Because it becomes increasingly evident that the Netherlands will have a hard time realising the European target for renewable energy if we do not aim for more offshore wind. So perhaps the Netherlands should start preparing the third round, just in case....?!